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Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

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fluor-spar, to some substance accidentally present in small quantity; so that yellow uranite is at present the only natural crystal to the essential constituents of which the property of internal dispersion has been found to belong.
166. Among the minerals just mentioned apatite was the most sensitive, though it fell very far short of yellow uranite. That the sensibility was not due to phosphate of lime, was plain from the circumstances that a colourless specimen was insensible, and that the amount of sensibility was found to be different in different parts of the same sensitive specimen. With the exception of the colourless crystal already mentioned, all the specimens of apatite examined were of a greenish colour, and all were sensitive. The dispersed light was something of an orange colour, but was not homogeneous orange. In one specimen it consisted of three distinct bright bands at regular intervals. The mode in which the sensibility of this crystal was connected with the refra.ngibility of the incident rays was very peculiar. In ara-gonite dispersion was found in the transparent specimens examined; the translucent specimens were found to be insensible. The dispersed light was of a brownish white colour. In the same crystal some parts were insensible and others more or less sensitive. The portions of equal sensibility were arranged in plane strata, just as in the case of fluor-spar, as has been noticed by Sir David Brewster. In a specimen which had been cut for showing conical refraction, the strata were in some places perpendicular to the plane of the optic axes, arid in other parts parallel to the line bisecting the axes, and inclined to their plane at such an angle that the two directions of the strata must have been parallel to two of the commonest lateral faces. Another specimen showed strata parallel to an oblique terminal face. The strata are plainly due, as Sir David Brewster has remarked with reference to fluorspar, to some substance taken up during crystallization. Accordingly, they preserve a sort of history of the growth of the crystal. In a twin crystal of fluor-spar, the direction of the strata in that part of the mass which was common to the geometrical forms of both crystals, showed to which crystal it really belonged. In fluor-spar the strata are parallel to the faces of the cube, at least in the specimens which I have examined, and the same has been observed by Sir David Brewster.